Spring Is in the Air, and So is Garden Care

January 17, 2014

With wonderful days of spring ahead of us, why not use the nice weather as an excuse to spruce up your outdoor areas? Whether you have a nice, big garden or a cute, little balcony – here are some ideas for turning it into an even more inviting, tranquil place for relaxing, entertaining guests and enjoying the fresh air. [gallery ids="100768,123415,123383,123409,123390,123403,123397" nav="thumbs"]

Beasley Real Estate

Beasley Real Estate, the boutique property brokerage firm that started up Feb. 1 this year, has a clear vision of how it can give its clients the best service.

“Our clients come first, and our brand comes second,’’ said founder and managing partner Jim Bell. After only three months in business, Beasley has already sold more than 40 properties in the Washington area. The properties sold range from $300,000 condos to $6-million houses. Already, with the launch of its new mobile application and a strategic partnership with auction house Bonhams, Beasley Real Estate has expanded its client services in old and new ways.

Jim Bell’s background is in banking and finance in addition to a number of years in real estate brokerage with Washington Fine Properties. Bell said he believes that it was time for a company model to be focused on the client and the client’s properties.

“We want to be the foundation for our client’s success and absolutely everything we do is based on that,’’ Bell said. Beasley’s advertising is a perfect example of how they do things differently compared to other companies, he added. Instead of having the brand name on top, with many small photos under with the same size for each property, Beasley Real Estate have chosen to highlight two or three properties in its ads, using larger photos and only having the brand logo down in the right corner. ‘’So many of my clients in the past has come to me and said, ‘Hey, Jim, where am I? Where’s my house? I can’t find it.’ I had a really tough time with that,” he said.

“Now that it’s not about the company but about the client, you visually see our client’s properties in our advertising,” said Bell enthusiastically. “I feel very strongly about that, and that’s one of the core reasons why Beasley was created.’’ Beasley was his grandfather’s name. “I didn’t want the name to be about me,’’ he said, emphasizing the importance of putting the clients interest first. Although it cost more to advertise fewer houses in each ad, Bell pointed out that in doing so they make their client’s houses shine.

“The best agents, the best properties, the best results’’ is the company motto. To ensure that all clients get top-quality services, all agents at Beasley must have a minimum of ten years experience before they start and a minimum of $10-million annual production.

The company has a worldwide presence as well. At the moment, 60 percent of its clients are actually from Europe. Beasley currently has four agents based in Washington. ‘’We will also have a London representative soon, hopefully by the fall. We want a person there to help our clients in the United Kingdom with their needs,’’ Bell said.

To tune with its international connections, Beasley and the auction house Bonhams celebrated their partnership at the George Town Club April 5 with a Bonhams exhibit, “The Mapping and Discovery of America.” Antique maps, manuscripts and books were on display at the club before heading to New York. Martin Gammon, D.C. regional head of Bonhams, said he was more than pleased to partner with the real estate group and its clients.

“I love Bonhams,” Bell said. “When I really started strategically mapping out the company, a lot of my clients over the years have always come from London. So, it was logical for the number of people in Washington that had properties in and around London and the U.K. to have that connection. Bonhams is worldwide partner of us, they branded very well with the opening of our Washington office.”

“I’ve been a Bonhams client for a number of years,” he continued. “We have the same client base. So, it’s a real treat for our clients to have direct access to an auction house. We introduce our clients to Bonhams and our clients are very much using their services. At the end of the day, that’s what the collaboration is there for: to be another service for our clients.”

Also, an online presence has always been a big part of what Bell does. “Making it visually appealing to people is really important,” Bell said. The website has had 240,000 hits since Feb. 1. “We’re only three months old,” he added. “So, that’s incredible. We’ve got 3,400 unique visitors, which is an incredibly high number. Those are people who are on our site every 48 hours looking for information.’’

A couple of weeks ago, the company launched the Beasley Real Estate application for smartphones and tablets. The app combines information about properties with Google Earth technology. If you are walking around with the map function on, the map will populate the neighborhood around you as you walk. First of all, the map will show you which houses are for sale around your location. Then, you can click on it and view information and photos. Second, you can also see what other properties in the same area sold for. The map will also show you rentals and commercial properties. “It’s not just information about Beasley properties,” said Bell, who appeared on Fox 5 Morning News a week ago to explain the app as he stood in front of a P Street house. “With this app you can become a market expert. It’s a great tool for consumers to help them know what they’re doing and to make the best decisions.”

Cherry Blossom Festival Off to a Peak Start

June 18, 2013

This year’s annual National Cherry Blossom Festival will celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the gift of cherry trees from Tokyo to Washington D.C. The famous Cherry Blossoms have already started to bloom, although the festival didn’t officially began March 20. Get ready for five weeks of events and programs in and around Washington, ranging from arts and culture to world-class entertainment. “No events are moving because of the early peak bloom,” says Danielle Piacente, communications manager for the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

The festival kicked off with the Pink Tie Party fundraiser on March 20. The party featured spring- and cherry-inspired cuisine and cocktails, and a silent auction. Most of the events during the Cherry Blossom Festival will however be free and open to the public. You can also experience spring- and cherry-inspired dishes and cocktails through the festival’s Cherry Picks Restaurant Program —www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/visitor-information/cherrypicks — that includes nearly 100 restaurants who will offer this on their menus.

On Sunday, March 25, the opening ceremony will be at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, presenting performances that tell the story about how the gift of trees turned into the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. This event is free; you just have to register online in advance, at www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/2011/07/15/openingceremony

That same weekend, the National Building Museum presents Family Days, a two-day festival of family entertainment. On March 24, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and March 25, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Family Days features activities such as creating shoji screens and pop-up architecture, dressing up in traditional Japanese costumes and interactive lessons on climate change and energy conservation —www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/2011/07/15/family-days

On March 31, you can have fun and go fly a kite at the Blossom Kite Festival which presents demonstrations of Japanese woodblock printing and painting, kite-making competitions and shows.

From March 31 until April 15, the Sylvan Theater on the Washington Monument Grounds will be the site of more than100 free performances, ranging from hip hop, folk/bluegrass and jazz artists to different dance ensembles. The schedule will be posted online at www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/2011/07/15/sylvanstage.

Another top event worth attending is the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on April 14, with its marching bands, performers, floats and giant balloons. The Parade will run along Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets from 10 a.m. until noon. The festival ends on April 27 with the Petal Fest & Closing Block Party on Woodrow Wilson Plaza.

Georgetown institutions and businesses will also celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Bacchus Wine Cellar will serve rose wine every night from March 23 through 30, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
On March 22, Tudor Place presents “Hanami, the Art of the Cherry Blossom,” providing a close look at an hanami-themed vase from Japan and exploration of the cherry blossoms in the Tudor Place Gardens and an Asian-themed menu.

Sprinkles Cupcakes will serve a festive, seasonal cherry blossom cupcake throughout the season.

On March 25, the Cherry Blossom Bike Ride & Cycle Expo that benefits the American Diabetes Association will take place in Georgetown, with rides along the Capital Crescent Trail and educational demonstrations and vendors in front of Jack’s Boathouse.

At the Old Print Gallery, there is a special spring exhibition of artwork celebrating the beauty of spring’s blossoms. The exhibition runs through May 11. [gallery ids="100587,100588" nav="thumbs"]

”Green” MBAs: Learning Environmental Responsibility

November 6, 2012

In the green spirit of the spring, let’s look at how business schools are working towards a greener environment. Can the future business men and women learn not only how to go out there and make millions of dollars, but also how to be environmentally responsible? The George Washington School of Business is one of the business schools that integrates corporate social responsibility into their business programs. GWU offers the so-called ”green” MBA in Environmental Policy and Management which focuses on the science, technology and social impact of global business, grooming the students to go work for the government, NGO’s and non-profits. Other universities in the Washington metro area who offer ”green” MBAs are the University of Maryland and the Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, who offer MBA programs concerning social and environmental awareness in business.

One of the former GWU students who graduated in 2009 is Mark Frieden. He decided to do the MBA in Environmental Policy and Management after reading about triple bottom line management, also known as the three pillars; people, planet and profit on the website beyondgreypinstripes.org.

”The main focus in the education was to learn how to make sure that companies have environmental responsibility. Take oil companies that drill for oil in the sea. There’s nothing wrong with drilling for oil, but they have to make sure that they do it in an environmental responsible way so that we can avoid disasters like the BP oil spill in 2010,” says Frieden, who’s currently on the board of DC Greenworks. DC Greenworks is a non-profit organization that among other things work with green roofs, rain barrels and rain gardens, urban agriculture and green job training.

It is not just business schools working to integrate corporate responsibility into the minds of business men and women. Net Impact is a non-profit membership organization for professionals and students who wish to use their business skills to support environmental and social causes. The organization was started in 1993 as Students for Responsible Business, and was renamed in 1998 to include both students and professional MBA graduates.

”Net Impact has been important for how business schools started to integrate environmental responsibility in their programs”, says Mark Frieden.

Net Impact is based in San Franscisco and has 280 volunteer-led chapters in business schools across the U.S. and countries on the other continents. Both George Washington University’s School of Business, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and the University of Maryland have Net Impact chapters. The member students seek to build a network of business leaders commited to making a positive environmental, social and economic impact.

2012 Summer Camp Guide

As the season changes into beautiful spring, it’s time to start thinking about where you want to send your kids when school closes for the summer and you still have long days at the office ahead of you. The Washington area offers a wide selection of camps that can give your child a memorable summer adventure. Whether they’re into sports, camping, music, technology, art or academic learning, there are options to suit almost any interest. Camps are filling up quickly, so make sure to check out what Washington has to offer before your kid’s dream camp is full!

TIC Summer Camp
ticcamp.com 571-765-0329
Where: Georgetown Day School, 4200 Davenport Street, Washington, D.C. 20016
When: June 18- August 10
How much: $820 per two-week session, $50 off for each session after the first one.
TIC is a technology/sports day camp for kids between 7 and 16 years old, celebrating 30 years in 2012. It has a 4:1 learning ratio, where kids learn through fun techonology and athletic activities. Technology activities include programming, digital art, animation, film making and web design. Sports activities include basketball, gymnastics, street hockey, dance and capture the flag. ”TIC is unique because we offer the perfect body/mind balance. The most popular activity at TIC is programming, kids as young as 7 and as old as 16 create video games based on their favorite things,” says Executive Director, Emily Riedel. Program runs from 8.30 a.m – 3 p.m., extended day is offered until 6 p.m.

Beauvoir Summer Camps
summer.beauvoirschool.org 202-537-6485
Where: The campus at the Washington National Cathedral, 3500 Woodley Road NW, Washinton, D.C. 20016
When: June 18- August 3
How much: $250-$425 per week
Beauvoir offers a range of different programs for children, 3 to 11, and a Counselor in Training program for tweens and teens between 12 and 16 years old. The programs are also offered as a combination of academic learning and general fun and adventurous summer camp experiences, such as art, swimming, cooking, science and outdoor activities. ”The component that both parents and children seem to be most excited about is the swimming. We have our own pool on the premises, and all the camps except the primarily academic ones offer swimming with instructors. We also offer swimming lessons before and after the camps, for children to become more safe in the pool,” says Camp Director, Hugh Squire. Beauvoir camp days usually run from 8.30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Before and after camp care is also offered, from 7.30-8.30 a.m. and 3-6 p.m.

Georgetown University Summer Camps at Yates Field House
yates.georgetown.edu/summer/ yatesdaycamp@georgetown.edu
Where: The Yates Field House, Kehoe Field, and McCarthy Pool, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. 20057
When: June 25 and consist of 6 separate one-week sessions.
How much: $380 per week, $280 per week for current Yates Field House members.
The Day Camp is a day-long activity camp for kids aged 6 to 10 years old. Days usually run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. After care is offered until 4:30 p.m. Activities include indoor and outdoor team-based games, creative projects, swimming, bingo and talent shows.

Audubon Naturalist Societey’s Summer Nature Camps
http://www.audubonnaturalist.org 301-652-9188 x15 (Karen Vernon)
Where: Woodend Sanctuary in Chevy Chase, and Lathrop E. Smith Center in Rockville.
When: June 18- August 17.
How much: From $128-$710 per week.
Audubon Naturalist Society Summer Camps offer both day and overnight camps with outdoor fun and discovery for kids and teenagers from 4 to 17 years old. Activities include games, hikes, songs, great camping traditions and environmental education in a natural setting. Camp days usually start at 8:45 a.m. and end 3 or 4 p.m. The camp also offers aftercare, from 4 to 6 p.m.

Corcoran Gallery of Art’s Camp Creativity
www.corcoran.org/family/camps (202) 639-1770
Where: Corcoran Gallery locations in Georgetown, Downtown and near Capitol Hill.
When: June 18- August 1
How much: $170-$590 per week (morning, afternoon or full day sessions)
Corcoran Gallery of Art offers different art summer camps for kids aged 5 to 16. The schedule for each camp group is age-appropriate and activities include sculpture making, painting, ceramics, jewelry making, photography, cartooning and so much more.

Other camps worth checking out:
Levine School of Music’s Summer Camps, levineschool.org
School of Rock Summer Camps, sordc.com/
Georgetown University Summer Programs, scs.georgetown.edu
Visitation Preparatory School’s Sports Summer Camps, visi.org/
Camp Rim Rock, camprimrock.com/
Camp Arena Stage, arenastage.org/
Georgetown Day School’s Summer Camps, www.gds.org/

Growing Interest for Organic Drinks

August 10, 2012

Americans have become increasingly interested in organically grown products during the last few years. According to a survey by the Organic Trade Association in 2011, sales of organic food and beverages have grown from $1 billion in 1990 to $26.7 billion in 2010 in the United States. www.ota.com/organic/mt/business.html. As we grow more and more concerned with the quality of our food, it’s little wonder that we also have started to expect more quality from our drinks.

On March 22, the launch of American Harvest Organic Spirit was celebrated at the Hamilton on 14th Street. Behind the bar was top mixologist Todd Richman, mixing delicous-tasting specialty cocktails for the enthusiastic crowd that had showed up to taste the organic goods.

“The market for organic spirits is growing nicely, people are looking for the best quality spirits and ingredients to make cocktails with,” Richman said.

American Harvest, vodka made from organic winter wheat that is sustainably grown in Idaho, is a tasteful addition to the growing selection of organic spirits available around Washington. Several liquor stores in Washington will have the new vodka in stock. “It’s exciting to work with American Harvest as a base spirit, because the quality of the spirit and the organic nature drives me to use organic ingredients from local farms when possible,” Richman said. Among other organic spirits you can find in local liquor stores, are Square One Organic Spirits www.squareoneorganicspirits.com/index.html and TRU Organic Vodka and Gin www.greenbar.biz.

Todd Richman’s favorite organic cocktail, “Local Harvest”:

2 parts American Harvest
4 fresh basil leaves
3 lime wedges
3 thin slices of cucumber
¼ part agave nectar

Muddle basil, lime and cucumber. Combine with American Harvest and agave nectar in a cocktail glass filled with ice. Shake hard and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with basil leaf and a slice of cucumber.

The Water Street Project Kicks Off This Week

May 3, 2012

The Water Street Project Space is a temporary art gallery located at 3401 Water Street N.W. in Georgetown that will run from April 19 to April 29 showcasing their newest creative concept by No Kings Collective and plans to be a premier cultural anchor displaying 15 featured artists. The exhibition will be open to the public daily from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The project will also host nightly events and musical acts including a few highlighted below:

Thursday, Apr. 19: PechaKucha Night- A networking event for young designers to meet and show their work in public from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. in a fast paced format to present concisely and rapidly.

Friday, Apr. 20: The Water Street Grand Opening- Free and open to the public, this night will showcase the artists, the core collaborators of the project.

Saturday, Apr. 21: Listen Local First- a local music initiative promoting local musicians and venues, will present acts from artists Les Rhinoceros, Shark Week, Akshan and Silver Liners. These concerts are free and open to the public.

Thursday, Apr. 26: The WW Club will celebrate menswear, featuring a whiskey tasting and burlesque performances.

Please visit thewaterstproject.com for more information and a full list of events.

Wedding Registry

For your wedding wishes this season, you’ll want to go for a traditional interior style, mixed with exotic details. Think creamy white and strong colors, like coral, turquoise and yellow. We also love contemporary pieces in materials such as steel and glass. The bride and groom will want to be prepared for romantic dinners and fabulous dinner parties. Even more importantly, to be perfectly equipped for long, snuggly mornings in bed.

1. These classic Athena bed linens in luxe egyptian cotton are offered with monograms. YvesDelorme, $160-$590 a piece.

2. Diane von Furstenberg decorative pillow brightens up your bedroom or living room. Bloomingdales, $360.

3. Rivulets Bedding provides a romantic feel in the bedroom. Anthropologie, $68-$368 a piece.

4. Madeira Court four-piece set dinnerware, classic and fun for your everyday dinners, fancy enough for special occasions. KateSpade, $80 a set.

5. Vera Wang for Wedgewood “Love Knot” napkin rings for elegant table settings. Bloomingdales, $50 for 4.

6. Coral napkin rings put a fun twist to your classic dinnerware for fun summer parties. Amano, $125 for 4.

7. Voluspa Maison Blanc “Pink Citron” candle provides an intoxicating scent that really fills up a room. Bloomingdales, $22.50

8. Michael Aram candle fills a room with a delicious scent. Bloomingdales, $60

9. iPad 2 for reading the newspaper in bed on those lazy mornings. Apple, $499

10. Hartland bowls will make the plainest green salad look exciting. Amano, $155-$295 each.

11. Nespresso CitiZ and milk espresso machine lets you indulge in gourmet coffee every morning. Surlatable.com, $349

12. Occa nesting tables are elegant, yet cool, for the bedroom or living room. BoConcept, $529

13. Kitchenaid holds every function you could dream of, including looking super stylish on the kitchen bench. SaksFifthAvenue, $349

14. The Bose speaker system can fill your home with your favorite tunes. SaksFifthAvenue, $99

15. This citrus squeezer is a little piece of art for the kitchen that also makes juice. Alessi, $100 [gallery ids="100484,117197,117191,117185,117179,117173,117167,117161,117210,117153,117216,117221,117146,117226,117204" nav="thumbs"]

Help Returning Warriors and Have Fun at a St. Patrick’s Day Fundraiser

Make your St. Patrick’s Day more than just an opportunity to party — remember our returning warriors and benefit the non-profit, Not Alone, at a hip, new restaurant.

The March 17 celebration at Todd and Ellen Gray’s Watershed Restaurant will raise funds for Not Alone, which is dedicated to supporting returning warriors, veterans and their families. One of the sponsors for the “You are not alone” party — which will feature Gray’s signature Eastern Seaboard-inspired cuisine, a specialty cocktail drink and an open bar — is the Georgetown Media Group, which produces the Georgetowner and the Downtowner newspapers.

Many of our returning warriors struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and suicidal thoughts. Not Alone is a national organization that offers a variety of programs, services and resources for warriors, veterans and their loved ones. It offers both on-line and off-line programs that can help restore hope for those who struggle. Not Alone recently launched a free, confidential and anonymous community service in and around Washington, D.C.

Watershed Restaurant, site of the St. Patrick’s Day party, is located in the NoMa neighborhood near Capitol Hill at 1225 First Street, N.E. The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington named Todd Gray “Chef of the Year” in 2011. He shares a passion for inventive interpretations of American cuisine with his wife Ellen. For readers of the Georgetowner and the Downtowner, tickets which cost $100 are discounted at $70 per person, or $125 for two tickets. For more information, visit www.NotAlone.com. [gallery ids="100529,119459" nav="thumbs"]

Celebrate Clara Barton

April 16, 2012

Today is the 100th Anniversary of Clarissa ‘Clara’ Barton’s death, the woman who is best remembered for organizing the American Red Cross. This weekend there will be a series of events celebrating her life. The events will take place in Glen Echo Park, Md., where the National Historic site in Clara Barton’s name is located. Established in 1975 as part of the National Park Service, the site is located at the house where Barton spent the last 15 years of her life.

Apr. 13: Hourly tours will highlight Barton’s legacy and the period surrounding her death. The tours will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Apr. 14: Catch free performances at the Bumper Car Pavilion in Glen Echo Park, where actress Mary Ann Jung will portray Clara Barton. The performances will start at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. There will also be an Open House on Saturday, featuring Dr. Hubbell (James Perry), from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Apr. 15: A symposium on Clara Barton will be held in Glen Echo Park’s Spanish Ballroom Annex from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The symposium will feature Elizabeth Brown Pryor, author of Clara Barton Professional Angel, and George Washington University women’s history scholar, Bonnie Morris. Elizabeth Brown Pryor will also be book signing at an Open House from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.